Luka Modrić played 70 minutes Sunday in a 3-0 victory over Cadiz. However, he was taken off with an apparent quad issue which will need to be monitored this week. Modrić received a 7.0 rating from Goal.com as he had “A composed performance in the middle of the park. Unlucky not to score after lashing one off the post. Removed with an apparent quad issue. Still wonderful to watch, even at 38.” Modrić blistered a shot off the left post in the 2nd half before laying off the ball to Rodrygo for his second goal of the match. With the win, Real Madrid go into Monday with a 1-point lead over Girona.
Nenad Bjelica is the new manager at Union Berlin, Bundesliga.com reports. He will be joining Croatian international, Josip Juranović, in the German capital as the Champions League club currently sits in the relegation zone; with only seven points from the first 12 matches of the season. In the past three seasons, Bjelica has been in charge of Dinamo Zagreb, NK Osijek, and Turkish club Trabzonspor. This will be a successful move for Bjelica if he can keep the club in the Bundesliga next season. They are currently only two points from safety.
Joško Gvardiol remained on the bench Saturday in Manchester City’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool. City manager, Pep Guardiola, did not use one sub during the match and marched out a 3-2-4-1 formation against the Reds. City has Champions League group play this week, but if Pep keeps a “3 in the back” formation this season, will that force Gvardiol to the bench in his first campaign with the club? Mateo Kovačić was not part of the squad and is expected to miss 2-3 more weeks with a quad injury. Kova should be back around Christmas.
Other than that, it was an extremely quiet week for Croatians playing in Europe. Ante Budimir cooled off and did not add to his La Liga scoring total this weekend. He remains on seven goals after Osasuna’s 3-1 loss to Villarreal Sunday.